NOTES includes short papers and test files abridged from our workshops and consultations that address the most commonly asked questions.
Calibrating Printing Editing
Updated 29 March 2023
A simple outline of two basic evaluations anyone can undertake to help them understand why their prints do not match their screen and why Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom soft proofing does not work. Last updated 28 July 2019.
A brief overview of monitor calibration with initial recommendations for ISO compliant calibrations and the circumstances and workflows they apply to. Last updated 08 November 2015.
A short paper that addresses the question: How do I know whether my image will appear the same on a different monitor? Through the identification and reduction of errors and inconsistencies, confidence but not certainty, can be restored to screen based workflows. Last updated 09 January 2020.
A transcript of our Advanced Soft Proofing Monitor Calibration video (with EIZO ColorNavigator 6) which some people find easier to follow than trying to simultaneously calibrate their monitor while watching the video. Last updated 05 June 2023.
A short paper on the considerations, limitations and best practices associated with matching images across multiple screens. Last updated 09 January 2020.
A short paper on the theory and practice of monitor calibration for fine art photography. Last updated 21 October 2018.
A detailed analysis of the ‘difficulties’ experienced when printing with generic printer profiles, and how we correct this, not just through custom profiling specific printers and workflows, but the profound improvements our skills and profile enhancements make. Last updated 28 February 2023.
An outline and explanation of the different printer profile variants we create, their purposes, both technically and aesthetically, and recommendations for their application in print production workflows. Last updated 18 February 2022.
Creating outstandingly beautiful printer profiles for the highest quality fine art printing is incredibly difficult, therefore it is no surprise how often mediocrity and disappointment dominate. This short paper outlines the key considerations and proposes working solutions to this conundrum from the perspective of a visual artist. Last updated 30 August 2022.
In creative print making, a print’s appearance under different viewing conditions is mainly an aesthetic problem, while the accuracy of its soft proof is primarily an efficiency and productivity issue. This introduction from my Soft Proofing Practice paper summarises the critical factors including the ‘problem’ of media fluorescence. Last updated 5 December 2022.
DIGITAL CAMERA CALIBRATION
A discussion of the methodology, workflow and colorimetric advantages of custom calibration and profiling of Hasselblad H System cameras, in particular the H6D 400c MS digital back. Last updated 02 March 2022.
A discussion of the methodology, workflow and colorimetric advantages of custom calibration and profiling of Phase One System cameras, in particular the IQ4 150MP digital back. Last updated 11 November 2021.
BW FILM CALIBRATION
This paper outlines my current calibration data for the safe non-staining development of BW film destined for scanning without sacrificing the beautifully detailed translucent highlights, lively shadow separation, and edge enhancement my ‘Pyro’ staining (tanning) film developers achieved in silver gelatin darkroom prints. Last updated 10 July 2020.
The classic technique of inspection-development allows film to be periodically viewed under an appropriate safe light to judge, independently of time and temperature, when sufficient development has taken place. A desensitizing pre bath allows even high speed Panchromatic film to be safely inspected. Last Updated June 1998.
A printable version of my Gretag Macbeth 24 Step Color Checker in the Adobe RGB (1998) colour space. Print this file, and under your standard print viewing conditions and light source compare the print with its screen rendering. In an accurately profiled soft proofing workflow there should be a very high correlation between the print and screen renderings.
A screen version of my Gretag Macbeth 24 Step Color Checker in the sRGB IEC61966-2.1 colour space. Use this file to compare renderings across multiple monitors in a screen based workflow (such as for web development). In an accurately profiled workflow there should be a very high correlation between the rendering of this target on all screens.
A 255R 255G 255B file for setting the monitor white point in applications like Adobe Lightroom that can only import files, not create them. Use for matching the screen white point with your printing paper’s white point as illustrated in our Advanced Soft Proofing Monitor Calibration Video.
A mid-grey L*50 file for evaluating and setting surrounding ambient illumination in screen based colour critical editing environments. When matte paper-white matches L*50 mid-grey on an 80cd/m^2 peak brightness screen the ambient illumination will be close to ISO3664:2009’s recommended ≤ 32LUX.
A target for testing the correlation between screen and print appearance. All L* values from 1 to 99 should be equally visible on screen and in print in an accurately profiled workflow and without compromising Dmax.
This file encompasses 256 evenly distributed brightness levels without dithering (noise) for evaluation of the gradation smoothness and neutrality of monitor and printer profiles.
A target for evaluating a digital file’s screen appearance before printing. In programs that don’t support the LAB colour model first convert to the workflow’s RGB or CMYK source colour space.
An untagged RGB file with Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Neutral linear gradients and 100% saturation markers for plotting how saturation alters relative to brightness changes.